Degree Programs & Courses Doctorate

Forms of doctorate

At the University of Bern, a doctorate can be completed in the following forms, depending on the faculty and discipline:

Individual doctorate

The traditional individual doctorate is the traditional form of doctorate where the person drafts their dissertation on their own, mostly on a topic they have chosen themselves. The traditional individual doctorate grants the person concerned a large degree of freedom to organize the time available as they please and therefore requires an especially high degree of independence and self-motivation. It typically takes three to five years to complete the traditional individual doctorate. Additional curricular attainments may also be demanded in addition to the dissertation.

Structured doctorate (graduate schools/doctoral degree programs)

Graduate schools and doctoral degree programs are attractive alternatives to the traditional individual doctorate. The structured doctorate comprises teaching and research programs with a specific, topic-related and often interdisciplinary outlook. In addition to the dissertation, it also contains mandatory curricular components and is particularly focused on promoting the development of (inter-)disciplinary and non-subject-specific skills, as well as interaction with other academics and building networks for doctoral students. The structured doctorate is arranged in such a way that students can usually complete it within three to four years.
At the University of Bern, structured doctorates include the following:

  • Graduate schools
  • Interuniversity TP1-doctoral degree programs
  • Other doctoral degree programs organized at faculty level
  • CUSO doctoral degree programs